Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders in Adults: Health and Neurobehavior

Principal Investigator:
Therese M. Grant, PhD
(PI at University of Washington site) ; Professor
Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences ; Fetal Alcohol and Drug Unit

Date: July 1, 2017 to May 31, 2022
Sponsor: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (1U01AA026108-01)
Categories: Pregnancy and Alcohol / Drugs

Other Investigators: Multiple PI: Claire Coles, PhD (Emory University site); Sandra Radin, PhD (Co-Investigator); Kathryn Kelly, (FADU); Tim Smith-Stewart (Research Study Assistant, FADU); Collaborators: Joanne Weinberg, PhD (University of British Columbia); Edward P. Riley, PhD (San Diego State University); The Collaborative on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (CIFASD)

Description: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is rarely diagnosed in adulthood and there are no recognized treatment protocols because, despite decades of research on the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE), scientific study of adults with FASD is almost unknown. Although neurodevelopmental deficits may be persistent, without accurate information about mental and physical health problems associated with PAE, caregivers, health care professionals and policy makers cannot make informed decisions, diagnose accurately, provide care or allocate resources.

The current project will address this deficit by: 1) Establishing a registry of 500 adults with known PAE/FASD diagnosis or who are matched controls, who will respond to a health survey, and who will be available for future studies; 2) among 240 affected individuals (FAS or FASD) and controls, examining dysmorphology, abstracting medical records, and evaluating substance use (self-report and biological samples), cognition, mental health, and social factors that might contribute to outcomes and disability status; and 3) assessing immune status via blood samples to identify outcomes associated with health indicators. Our goal is to refine diagnostic criteria for FASD in this age group and determine the persistence and severity of disability associated with PAE.

Related Web Sites:
Project in NIH Reporter

Marijuana Use among High-Risk Mothers in Washington State

Principal Investigator:
Therese M. Grant, PhD
Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Date: March 1, 2016 to June 30, 2016
Sponsor: Dedicated Marijuana Fund
Categories: Marijuana | Pregnancy and Alcohol / Drugs

Other Investigators: Chris Graham, Bia Carlini, Cara Ernst, Natalie Novick Brown

Description: This study examined how legalization affected alcohol and drug use in a sample of pregnant and parenting women with substance use disorders. Data source: Exit interviews from a three-year case management intervention program (Parents and Child Assistance Program - PCAP) from nine counties in Washington State. The sample (N = 1,359) was divided into two cohorts based on whether participants had completed the program before or after legalization. Results: Most study participants reported complete abstinence from alcohol and non-prescription drugs at program exit. Among those who were still using substances, women who completed the intervention after marijuana legalization were significantly more likely to report marijuana use at program exit compared to women who completed before legalization. Across both cohorts (pre- and post-legalization), we found a positive association of exit marijuana use with alcohol, illegal methadone, other opioids, amphetamines, and cocaine use; after controlling for historical period, marijuana use at PCAP exit increased significantly after marijuana legalization in the state. Women who were not abstinent from marijuana at program exit were likely to report use of other substances as well. Our study design demonstrates an association but does not allow us to conclude that marijuana use leads to other substance use among this sample of women with a history of poly-substance use. Results add to the preliminary body of literature on how legalization of marijuana affects substance use in specific populations.

Results: Grant TM, Graham JC; Carlini BH; Ernst CC; Brown NN. Use of marijuana and other substances among pregnant and parenting women with substance use Disorders: Changes in Washington State after marijuana legalization. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs 2018;79(1):88-95. doi: 10.15288/jsad.2018.79.88.

Parent-Child Assistance Program (PCAP): Intervention with High-Risk Alcohol and Drug Abusing Mothers

Principal Investigator:
Therese M. Grant, PhD

Categories: Pregnancy and Alcohol / Drugs

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